White-tailed deer

Abstract

Title:  Prevalence of Trueperella pyogenes in Georgia's Deer Herd as a Cause of Intracranial Abscessation
Author(s): Emily H. Belser, Bradley S. Cohen, Karl V. Miller - University of Georgia; Shamus P. Keeler - Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study; Kevin M. Keel - UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Charlie Killmaster, John Bowers - Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Year: 2013
Abstract: Intracranial abscessation (IA) is a reported cause of natural mortality, particularly for mature, male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Most cases of IA are associated with infection by the opportunistic bacterium Trueperella pyogenes (formerly Arcanobacterium pyogenes). To date, it is unclear if this species of bacteria is a commensal bacterium on healthy deer. Only one published study has documented T. pyogenes presence on healthy deer (Maryland), and no studies have been conducted on a large scale. During Fall 2011, we obtained samples from 462 hunter-killed deer on 13 public lands and 10 private properties across all physiographic provinces in Georgia. Study sites were selected to include differing herd demographics, management styles (Quality Deer Management vs. Traditional Deer Management), and habitats. We sampled the forehead, nose, and tongue of each deer. We used Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to determine presence or absence of T. pyogenes . T. pyogenes was found on the epidermal linings of deer throughout the state with a mean prevalence of 47.83 percent. Public properties had a mean prevalence of 85.12 percent, whereas private properties had a mean prevalence of 45 percent. We discuss causative factors associated with the prevalence of T. pyogenes and its implications for the occurrence of intracranial abscesses.

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